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Feminist Criticism in Midsummer Nights Dream

Feminist Criticism in Midsummer Nights Dream

Throughout the play "MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM" by Willliam Shakespeare, we find many references to the assigned roles of men and women. One of the themes of the play is male dominance and the objectifying of women. The women are made to feel forced and obligated to do as the men say. They accept their expected behaviors or roles set by the men. Although women have strong bonds between each other, they are often driven by jealousy. The play pokes fun at the ever-changing relationship between a man and a woman. The love and trust between them is not enduring. This is typical of the relationships in our society. The men are also the authority figures in a relationship. The many feminist criticism questions are elaborated in this essay.

In MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, male dominancy not only exists between couples, but also between father and daughter. "As she is mine, I may dispose of her: Which shall be either to this gentleman Or to her death, according to our law" (ActI.SceneI.lines 42-44) A woman's entire existence, and her preference in her sexual and emotional life, is controlled by a powerful male figure, as illustrated by Egeus's possessiveness toward his daughter Hermia. The men are often seen treating women like objects. "To you your father should be as a god," (ActI.SceneI line 47) "Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men."(ActI.SceneI line 65-66) Theseus who also agrees with Hermia's father, is content with the Athenian law of male dominance. Theseus shows pride in winning his bride in the battle with the Amazons. By concuring the female warrior and marrying her, he fulfills his ego. Oberon, the king of fairies, also expects women to be dominated by men. The argument between Titania and Oberon arises from Titania's focus of attention towards an Indian boy. Oberon uses his authority as her husband to force Titania to give up the boy, and he is shocked when she disobeys him and leaves. Oberon refuses to accept...

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